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Archuleta’s Eagles have flair for the dramatic in pair of walk-off wins

Eagles & Flyers conclude series Sunday at noon
Updated: Apr. 17, 2021 at 11:22 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - University of Southern Indiana Baseball walked off both ends of a doubleheader to sweep Lewis University, 4-3 and 8-7, Saturday at the USI Baseball Field. The Screaming Eagles go to 18-13 overall and 14-9 GLVC, while the Flyers end the evening 15-12, 13-10 GLVC.

Game 1:

USI junior second baseman Ethan Hunter hit a walk-off home run to lift the Eagles to a 4-3 victory in the opening game Saturday. Hunter hit the first pitch he saw in the seventh off the top of the left field fence that had to be reviewed before it was ruled a game-winning home run and his sixth of the season.

The Eagles jumped out in front, 3-0, in the second frame when junior centerfielder Bryce Krizan doubled to left field, scoring senior catcher Wyatt Daly from second and senior shortstop Kobe Stephens from first with two outs. USI would hold the 2-0 lead until the bottom of the sixth when freshman designated hitter Gavin McLarty drove in senior right-fielder Manny Lopez with a RBI-double to right center for the 3-0 advantage.

Lewis, however, was not ready to concede the contest, scoring a trio of runs in the top of the seventh to knot the game, 3-3. The Flyers scored one off of USI sophomore starter Garrett Welch and senior reliever Tyler Hagedorn.

Welch, who got the no-decision despite throwing six scoreless frames, departed in the seventh after allowing one run on five hits and three walks, while striking out three. Hagedorn (2-0), who picked up the win in relief, allowed two runs on one hit and struck out one.

Game 2:

USI rallied with sixth runs in the seventh to walk-off an 8-7 victory over Lewis. Junior second baseman Ethan Hunter scored the winning run on a wild pitch to cap off the six-run frame.

The Flyers had control early with a run in the second and one in the fourth to lead 2-0. USI tied the game, 2-2, with a tally in the fourth and fifth before Lewis took a 4-2 lead with two in the sixth and three in the seventh to build a 7-2 advantage.

In the seventh, freshman designated hitter Gavin McLarty posted an RBI-single; junior centerfielder/leftfielder Bryce Krizan whacked a two-run double; and Hunter drove a RBI-single to right center to close the gap to 7-6.

The Eagles concluded the walk-off sweep with a wild end of the contest. Krizan, who had reached third on Hunter’s single, tied the game on the first wild pitch, while Hunter crossed the plate with his second-straight game-winner by scoring on a second wild pitch, in as many batters.

Freshman lefthander Blake Ciuffetelli picked up the win in relief. Ciuffetelli (2-2) got the Eagles out of the top of the seventh with a strike out to set USI up for the bottom half the inning.

Senior right-hander Jacob Bowles started for USI and got the no-decision. The senior allowed four runs on six hits and four walks, while tying a career-high with eight strikeouts.

Up Next for the Eagles:

The Eagles and the Flyers conclude the four-game series Sunday with a noon single game at the USI Baseball Field. Live coverage can be accessed through GoUSIEagles.com.

Following the USI-Lewis series, the Eagles will finish April and start May with a visit to #10 (NCBWA)/#14 (ABCA) Lindenwood University (April 23-25) and hosts the University of Indianapolis (April 30-May 2). The May 2 game versus U-Indy is Senior Day for the Eagles.

Schedule Note:

The USI-Oakland City University game, slated for April 28, has been canceled due to scheduling conflicts.

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